Managing Stress to Ease Heartburn

Stress May Make Heartburn Worse
More than half of people who suffer frequent heartburn say a hectic lifestyle and work-related stress increases their heartburn. While stress hasn’t been linked directly to heartburn, it is known that it can lead to behaviors that can trigger heartburn. During stressful times, routines are disrupted and people may not follow their normal routines in regards to meals, exercise and medication. It is important to find ways to alleviate the stress, and thus make stress-related heartburn less likely.

Regular exercise
This not only helps to lower stress and increase your natural “feel-good” chemicals, known as endorphins, but also helps with digestion.

Sleep seven to eight hours a night
This is critical to keeping our stress level low. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people have higher stress levels.

Eat balanced meals
By consuming plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh fish, you’ll provide your brain and body with the necessary nutrients to help you perform under pressure. It is also important to avoid the foods that are your heartburn triggers.

Limit consumption of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and sugar
Studies have shown that these substances cause the stress response to become heightened. Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco are also heartburn triggers.

Take a quick “mental break.” Envision a favorite place in your mind; anyplace that makes you relax just thinking about it. This can be imagining a walk by the ocean, a drive through the mountains, or being on a hillside watching the sun set. Concentrating seeing, hearing, and smelling the things you imagine will help you relax.

For more on stress relief, go to’s Guide to Stress.

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